England’s Sarah Davies emerged from a ‘difficult’ period in her weightlifting career to end her silver streak and win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Davies triumphed in the women’s 71kg final after finishing second at the European and World Championships, as well as the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The 29-year-old’s victory came in her first international competition after being deselected from England and Britain teams for three months for making discriminatory comments against another athlete.
“It was a difficult time, but I learned from it and educated myself,” said Davies, the former Miss Leeds and Miss West Yorkshire who swapped beauty contests for the world of weightlifting.
“I’ve learned my lesson and we’re taking it from there. I used the time (since mid-April) to train, as there were no national competitions at that time.
“There were a lot of second places, but the tables have turned now and the silver medal is finally over.”
Davies held a three-kilo lead over Nigeria’s Joy Ogbonne Eze after setting a new Games snatch record of 103kg.
Eze would leave the arena in tears after three misses in the clean and jerk category denied him a medal of any description.
Davies also failed with his first clean and jerk attempt before leveling off to lift 126kg and relegate Canadian Alexis Ashworth and Indian Harjinder Kaur to minor medals.
“I thought I would make it more of a crowd pleaser,” Davies said.
“The first one I misjudged a bit. It pulled me back and when that happens it’s a bit heavier on the trachea.
“The sound echoed around the room and I lost my vision for a little while.
“But it’s happened to me before in training, and it’s just about taking a deep breath and taking your time before you reset.
“The lion in me came out to fight on the second. I couldn’t rely on the third attempt, I knew it was for the glory and it mattered.
“I knew what had happened before with the Nigerian and I didn’t want to go that route.”
England’s Chris Murray had already won gold in the men’s 81kg final before his Gibraltarian girlfriend Holly O’Shea competed in the women’s 71kg event.
Murray beat Australian Kyle Bruce and Canadian Nicolas Vachon in spectacular fashion after leading at the halfway point.
Bruce landed a clean and jerk of 180kg and initially got three go-aheads for his 183kg attempt, which would have put him in first place. But he was ruled out by the jury because his left elbow was bent.
Vachon’s winning attempt was nullified when he dropped the bar after appearing to pull off a comeback.
Zoe Smith of England was fourth in the women’s 64kg final, Christie Williams of Wales seventh and Northern Ireland’s Caroline Doyle ninth.
Commonwealth Games: Sarah Davies emerges from ‘difficult’ time to win weightlifting gold
Source link Commonwealth Games: Sarah Davies emerges from ‘difficult’ time to win weightlifting gold